Your article on hockey czar R. Alan Eagle-son (The Man Who Rules Hockey, July 2) represents the kind of thorough and provocative analysis that makes SI different from other sports publications. Anyone who has followed the NHL has to wonder about the kind of control Eagleson seems to wield in and around the game. John Papanek and Bill Brubaker have cast considerable light on the matter, portraying a wheeler-dealer who apparently acts in the interests of the players he represents only when those interests coincide with his own. If members of the NHL Players' Association continue to endorse Eagleson's priorities and style by retaining him as their executive director, one has to assume that they're getting just what they deserve.
Professional hockey suffers from a lack of exposure on major U.S. television networks, but perhaps your article on Alan Eagleson will serve as an eye-opener for all those who have an interest in the sport. Eagleson's conflict of interest is an issue that needed examination. I hope the NHLPA membership will wise up and terminate Eagleson's contract.
I disagree with the slant of your article on Alan Eagleson. Eagleson has bent over backward to put Canada on the map in international hockey and make it an extremely successful moneymaker for all concerned. His quarterbacking of the Canada-U.S.S.R. series in 1972 allowed the entire nation to rise simultaneously to cheer Paul Henderson's winning goal and at the same time make one and all proud to be Canadian.
Besides Eagleson's obvious patriotism and his devotion to hockey, he displays the same enthusiasm for another part of his life. I attended high school with his son in Toronto. While on the way home one day, I stopped in on a school hockey game in our arena. The only parent in attendance was Eagleson, briefcase open on his knees, working and watching his son. I was extremely impressed with this and haven't forgotten it.
I've a tremendous amount of respect for Eagleson and everything he has done. It's too bad the article couldn't have taken a positive approach.
Considering SI's general lack of hockey coverage, I was puzzled that you chose hockey powerbroker Alan Eagleson as the subject for a major expose. Eagleson, like everyone else in pro sports today, including players, agents and owners, looks out for No. 1. At least, in the process, Eagleson gives Canadian hockey a small chance to compete against the world champions, the Soviets. Perhaps you could follow up this article with an investigation into the financial dealings and backgrounds of pro baseball and football moguls.
THE MAINE WAY
It was wonderful to read Steve Wulf's article It's the Maine Attraction (July 9) about Old Orchard Beach's Triple A baseball team, the Maine Guides, which represents all that is good in sport. The enthusiasm of owner Jordan Kobritz and town manager Jerry Plante, the exuberance of the L.L. Bean-clad crowd and the beauty of the "bahlpahk" made this story one the rest of the sporting world would be wise to take notice of and appreciate—minus the mosquitoes, of course. The choice between playing in Old Orchard Beach and being called up to Cleveland would be an agonizing one. Take me out to the ball game in Maine, where the Guides' compasses are pointing in the right direction.
MICHAEL W. YEN
I was delighted to read your article on Maine's beloved Guides. While Maine may not be rich in baseball history, it does have loyal, knowledgeable fans. The Red Sox, New England's team, have a Maine Day every year to show their appreciation of this state's fans. We have sat close to our TVs to cheer the University of Maine's Black Bears in the College World Series for four years running, and we rush out to buy tickets to see our Guides.
No plush seats or domed stadiums for us. Just lobstah, squeetahs, the smell of pine all around and lots of baseball. Finest kind!
MARK A. COWAN
West Buxton, Maine
In SCORECARD (July 9) you noted that Quinn Buckner joined an elite group as the fifth man ever to score a rare triple—by playing on NCAA, Olympic and NBA championship teams. You were quite correct but should have carried it one step further.
Buckner and Jerry Lucas are the only two men with an even rarer quadruple—they played on high school basketball teams that won state titles. Buckner played for Thorn-ridge High in Dolton, Ill., which won consecutive state championships in 1971 and 1972, and Lucas was a member of the 1956 and 1957 state championship squads from Middletown (Ohio) High.
PALMER AND BARBER
My compliments to Jaime Diaz on his excellent account of the U.S. Senior Open Championship (Then Came Miller Time, July 9). There's a growing, happy realization that we're all going to enjoy seeing Arnold Palmer (Mr. Golf) and Miller Barber (Mr. X) tee up against each other for some years to come. How right Diaz was to say of Miller, "It's never been how that mattered, but how many." That's the essence of the game, and a triumph for unorthodox swingers everywhere. But what insight on the part of Diaz to say of Arnie, "It's never been how many that mattered, but how." Diaz hits us with golf's essential and then with its quintessential. Miller, Arnie, we love you both.
BOB C. VANSTRUM
After poring over your two excellent articles on the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials (June 25 and July 2), I, a former running-shop owner, shifted my attention from the athletes' feats to the athletes' feet. I found pictured in the articles 50 competitors whose shoe brands were evident or whose singlets revealed their footwear suppliers. Here are the results of this admittedly small sample: With 17 athletes, Adidas edged archrival Nike (16) for first. In sole possession of third place was Tiger (7) with a sizable lead over Converse (4) and Puma (4). Tied for last were New Balance (1) and Brooks (1).
I'm anxiously awaiting the Olympics. I wonder what the Kenyans are wearing.
Pebble Beach, Calif.
"How do you explain 136 tons of bananas" (SCORECARD, July 9)? For the potassium, of course.
I've been reading SI for more than 15 years and can safely say that your coverage of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials (Trials and Jubilation, July 2) was one of your best efforts ever. The incredible photographs captured the athletes not only in action, but also in moments of joy, anguish and compassion. I repeatedly savored the pictures before allowing myself the pleasure of reading Kenny Moore's article, which, not surprisingly, I found of equal excellence.
If this 20-page masterpiece is the result of the Olympic trials, then all I can say is: Let the Games begin!
HARVEY L. CIVINS
Hooray for the U.S. track and field team! Your coverage of the Olympic trials was again the best. Kenny Moore did an excellent job.
But Dwight Stones on the cover? There's not enough milk and bananas in the world to cover that flake.
Following the appearance of your July 2 issue, Dwight Stones was quoted in The Washington Post as saying, "I'm the world record holder in time between SPORTS ILLUSTRATED covers. Eight years and two weeks" (or since June 14, 1976). Is this true?
New York City
•No. Twenty-four people have surpassed Stones's record in this SI cover category, with Jim Brown leading the pack. Brown reappeared on the cover after a span of more than 23 years. Here's a list of those who have gone longer between covers than Stones (note that Ted Williams has done it twice) and the dates of those covers.—ED.
Jim Brown (Sept. 26, '60-Dec. 12, '83)
Yogi Berra (March 2, '64-April 2, '84)
Roger Staubach (Dec. 2, '63-Sept. 4, '78)
Walter Alston (Sept. 26, '55-May 19, '69)
Billy Martin (April 23, '56-July 21, '69)
Joe Theismann (Jan. 11, '71-Jan. 16, '84)
Gaylord Perry (Sept. 26, '66-Aug. 27, '79)
Johnny Unitas (Oct. 5, '59-July 10, '72)
Paul Brown (Oct. 8, '56-Aug. 12, '68)
Carl Yastrzemski (Dec. 25, '67-Aug. 27, '79)
Ernie Banks (July 7, '58-Sept. 8, '69)
Ted Williams (July 8, '57-July 8, '68)
Leo Durocher (April 11, '55-Feb. 28, '66)
Bill Veeck (May 17, '65-March 15, '76)
Jim Plunkett (Feb. 15, '71-Sept. 7, '81)
Elvin Hayes (Jan. 29, '68-May 8, '78)
Gordie Howe (March 16, '64-March 11, '74)
Joe Morgan (June 6, '66-April 12, '76)
Bob Cousy (Jan. 16, '61-Jan. 26, '70)
Arthur Ashe (Aug. 29, '66-July 14, '75)
Bart Starr (Jan. 9, '67-Aug. 25, '75)
Ted Williams (March 17, '69-July 18, '77)
Bernard King (Feb. 9, '76-May 7, '84)
Willie Mays (June 4, '62-July 27, '70)
Willie Stargell (Aug. 2, '71-Aug. 27, '79)
Letters should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.